In a medical crisis, who is it wiser to rely upon: God, or a doctor?
Clergymen dedicate their whole lives to telling people to place their faith in the Lord — but oddly enough, they answer that question the same way you and I do.
I made the following quick-‘n’-dirty potpourri of headlines in under 20 minutes. Some of these priests and pastors survived, some died, but they all have this in common: They contracted COVID-19, and they went to a hospital, not a church. Where was their complete trust in God?
And so on.
Yes, I’m aware of the Christian joke about the pious man who was stranded on a desert island. If you haven’t heard it: A ship arrives and he declines to board, explaining that he’s waiting for God to save him. Next, a helicopter lands. Same result. Finally he perishes, and goes to Heaven. “Why didn’t you rescue me?” he demands of God. Responds the Almighty, “I sent you a ship and a helicopter. What more did you want?”
The way Christians see it, nurses and doctors are like that ship and that helicopter. God provided them.
I have a couple of issues with that.
1. Why would God yank the rug? All COVID sufferers go to the hospital in hopes of getting better, right? Many die all the same. It’s akin to dispatching that helicopter to rescue the stranded man and then deliberately crashing it after he gets on board. The Lord sure likes to kid!
2. Why do devout patients have no greater chance of survival than godless ones? Why are stranded-on-an-island heretics just as likely to be rescued? Doesn’t that show that (a) the faith the believers placed in God and (b) the prayers they said were insignificant and ineffective?
Also, an ancillary question. How come none of the clerics on that list gladly shuffled off this mortal coil? Why didn’t they accept — embrace! — COVID-19 as their fast-track ticket to the splendiferous afterlife that they’d always peddled to anyone who would listen, like a celestial timeshare?
I admit I have respect for Terence Nolan, a San Antonio priest who died two weeks ago. A friend of his told a local news station,
“He was diagnosed with COVID-19, but he never went to the hospital. He stayed at home. He was sitting in an easy chair, and from one moment to the next he was gone.”
Father Nolan, at least, was consistent. That’s an admirable quality, but not, alas, a common one.
(Image via Shutterstock)